Greatness can come in all shapes and sizes, all colors and creeds. It can also come from either gender. Society tends to focus on the great men of history, on their words and deeds. But history is filled with great women as well.
As great men are often remembered for not only what they have done, but what they have said, the same holds true for great women. The following is a list of ten of the most inspirational quotes about women, for women, and by women.
- “I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that’s how I operate my life.” –Oprah Winfrey
Best known for her multi-award winning talk show, the highest rated of its kind, Winfrey is also a media proprietor, actress, producer, and philanthropist.
- “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water” – Eleanor Roosevelt
The longest-serving first lady in U.S. history, Harry S. Truman called her “The First Lady of the World” in tribute of her long list of human rights achievements.
- “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman” – Margaret Thatcher
The first female prime minister of the United Kingdom, the “Iron Lady” was well-known for her steadfast leadership style and lack of compromise.
- “I have frequently been questioned, especially by women, of how I could reconcile family life with a scientific career. Well, it has not been easy.” – Marie Curie
Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, and conducted pioneering research in the field of radioactivity.
- “Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.” – Margaret Sanger
Sanger was an American birth control activist, nurse, and sex educator, and established the organization that would later go on to become Planned Parenthood.
- “The best protection any woman can have…is courage.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Stanton was an American social activist and abolitionist, and later a leading figure in the early movement for women’s rights.
- “Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart
An aviation pioneer and author, Earhart set many aviation records, which includes being the first woman to ever fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
- “I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet.” – Susan B. Anthony
Anthony was a pivotal player in the woman’s suffrage movement in the U.S.
- “For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women.” – Elizabeth Blackwell
Dr. Blackwell was the first woman in the U.S. to receive a medical degree.
- “I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.” – Michelle Obama
Besides being an American lawyer and author, Michelle Obama is also the first African-American First Lady of the U.S.